Blumhouse Productions is celebrating independence day by releasing prequel The First Purge to theaters, but is it worth staying for the end-credits? Made for a budget of only $3 million, 2013's The Purge was one of the earlier examples of just how well Blumhouse's formula of making horror films with interesting concepts on the cheap and then marketing them relentlessly enough that they feel like blockbusters could work. Audiences took to the intriguing idea of a dystopian America that for one 12-hour period each year, makes all crime legal, theoretically allowing people to get out all the violent impulses that polite society otherwise forces them to bottle up.
The three prior Purge films have managed to bring in a worldwide total of nearly $320 million, all on budgets of $10 million or less. That's an amazing return on investment, even when marketing is considered. If horror history has shown anything, it's that a profitable franchise will keep pumping out new installments until the audience demand for it goes away, and thus Blumhouse was all too happy to offer up The First Purge. As the title implies, the film is a prequel to its predecessors and chronicles the very first ever experimental Purge night, which was confined to Staten Island in New York City.
Purge fans won't hesitate to go check out this latest entry in theaters, but those same fans may also be wondering if they have anything juicy to look forward to during the film's end credits. The answer to that question is a definite yes. The First Purge has both a mid-credits scene and a trailer for the upcoming Purge TV series. However, the trailer only plays in the US. The mid-credits scene comes almost as an epilogue, setting up future events and connecting The First Purge's ending to the chronologically later prior Purge films, while the new trailer shows more concretely where the series is going to go.
While the Purge TV series is set to premiere September 4, there is a question at this juncture of whether more Purge theatrical films will be in the cards. Much like with Blumhouse's fellow 2018 prequel Insidious: The Last Key, the way The First Purge's ending leads into the earlier films implies that the overall narrative circle may have now been closed. Plus, The First Purge isn't projected to set the box office on fire with its expected $25 million opening weekend gross. The film will still surely be profitable - the budget was just $13 million - but its opening represents the worst in franchise history.
Regardless of whether or not more Purge movies are made, fans will soon have the TV series to satisfy their urge for wanton slaughter and mass chaos. Considering the Purge franchise's track record, it's not hard to imagine said series experiencing great success and running for multiple seasons, further expanding the property's reach. One thing is clear, there's just no escaping The Purge, both for the characters in the franchise and real-world audiences. At least for now. The New Founding Fathers would be pleased.
- The First Purge/The Purge 4 (2018) release date: Jul 04, 2018